Slimline Christmas trees hold the key to driving sales in 2020 as retailers assess their festive season performance

Retailers who are taking stock of their festive season trading performance are being offered a helping hand to boost Christmas tree sales during 2020 – and turn around the fortunes of sales areas that fell below expectations. With the festive season established as a key point in the calendar to keep garden centre tills jingling, Premium Christmas Trees is working closely with retailers to tailor their tree offering and drive sales at the tail-end of the year.

Premium Christmas Trees, based at Chorley in Lancashire, has had its best season to date with record sales figures making 2019 a stellar year for the family-run business. The grower and supplier has spearheaded an approach that, by working closely with garden centres, empowers retail managers to customise their Christmas tree offering, ensuring that stock closely matches their customer demographic and utilises effective merchandising techniques to draw consumers’ attention to the most suitable trees for their homes. The company’s dedication to flexible deliveries – hand-selected, packed and delivered on the day of a retailer’s choice – serves to further enhance the buying experience.

Through innovation, Premium Christmas Trees, a proud member of the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association, has pioneered a slimline version of its top-selling Nordmann fir which has proven its ability to maximise sales at retail outlets. The slimmer tree is a result of six years’ research and development with growers, taking lots of care, attention and specialist skills including hand-pruning every year for five years before allowing the tree to hone its shape for the final year.

According to research published in the national press, the average lounge at a new-build home is 32% smaller than at equivalent properties constructed in the 1970s. While living rooms of 24.9 square metres were commonplace 50 years ago, family living areas at properties built since 2010 have regressed – contracting to just 17.1 square metres, with space even tighter at studio or inner-city apartments. While the nation’s shrinking living rooms may have dissuaded consumers from purchasing a real Christmas tree in the past, slimline trees now have the potential to open-up new revenue streams for retailers.

Sophie Holt, Director of Premium Christmas Trees says: “Growing numbers of retailers understand that customers want a real tree but are aware that an increasing segment of the population now live in smaller homes. These consumers are seeking out slimmer trees that still provide the magical look and fragrance of their traditional counterparts but demand a fraction of the space. Our slimline Nordmann is 60-70% smaller than a conventional Nordmann and is always our first range to sell out. Premium Christmas Trees has always believed that innovation holds the key to helping retailers boost the fortunes of their Christmas tree shops, and we believe the slimline Nordmann fir will play an even more important role this year, so we encourage retailers to secure this popular range as soon as they can.”

Retailers placing orders now for December delivery are being urged to widen their choice of Christmas tree to help drive sales. While the Premium Nordmann Fir remains Premium Christmas Trees’ speciality, the Premium Fraser Fir with its deep-green fine needles and alluring fragrance is another top choice for space-constrained consumers who are looking for slimmer trees. The Premium Norway Spruce with its unique Christmassy fragrance retains its strong appeal with shoppers who prefer a traditional tree. With a growing number of consumers opting for Pot-Grown Christmas Trees that can be planted in gardens come the New Year, containerised Nordmann Fir and Fraser Firs appeal to a market that wants to nurture a fully rooted tree for years to come. It is recommended that buyers further widen their potential market by stocking a Korean Fir or budget trees to ensure that retail outlets cater for the complete spectrum of clientele.

Sophie adds: “To maximise the sales potential of Christmas trees it’s essential to provide a unique customer experience. We work with retailers to ensure they select the right trees for their customer base and offer a choice that looks and smells superb. Telling the story of a tree’s journey to market – from seeds being picked high up on mother trees in year one to the planting, tending and pruning that ensures a crop is at its peak of perfection for cutting in years 10 to 12 – holds the potential to further driving sales by informing consumers of the care that has been lavished in bringing the ultimate Christmas tree into their home.”

Sustainability sells, too, and an eco-friendly approach is at the heart of Premium Christmas Trees’ operation with almost all trees going direct from the field to the chosen garden centre a few miles away. The company points out that a study in North America revealed that real Christmas trees, which can be recycled after the festive season, are better for the environment. The report claimed that an artificial tree would have to be kept for about 20 years to have a lower carbon footprint than having a real tree every Christmas.

Retailers can extend their Christmas offering without having to take more stock instore through Premium Christmas Trees’ online order fulfilment system, where they can specify the dates they want a fresh delivery to store.

For more information visit www.premiumchristmastrees.com or call the company on 01257 793748 to discuss your tree requirements for Christmas 2020.

Case study: Piccadilly Garden is a charitable Day Support Service that supports Children, Young People and Adults with a range of disabilities. Operating for over 30 years, the charity is based in Lancaster.

 

Manager, Stephen Neaves, says: “We have been raising additional money through the sale of Christmas trees during late November and December. We have been doing this for most of the 30 years we have been in operation. Since moving to Premium Christmas Trees many years ago we have had nothing but praise from our loyal customers regarding the trees. Every person has been delighted with their choice of tree.

“Sophie from PCT has been supportive of us, especially last year when we told him of our new initiative – the Piccadilly Christmas Tree Appeal, where we donated 30 trees to mark our 30 years in operation to local families that were struggling over the Christmas period. David kindly donated Christmas tree stands for the trees and donated a few extra trees for our cause. In 2019 we have been working with another local charity to donate 15 trees to families in the Lancaster area. We are grateful to PCT for their help and friendly service and look forward to our continued relationship with them for many more years to come.”

 

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